Orthodontic treatment (braces) are a common treatment, usually carried out during early teenage years to move teeth due to overcrowding (where teeth may overlap or it looks as though there are too many teeth in the mouth) or to close gaps. However, braces can be done on adults too, but can be costly and due to the gradual movement, can take months to achieve.
If the focus is purely to close a gap between your front teeth (this is known as a diastema), there are other options available, but this depends on the size of the gap and your dentist will be able to advise you on the best course of treatment.
One option is to add white filling material to your front teeth to close the gap. The white filling material bonds to your enamel and can be a more cost effective way of closing a gap between your front teeth. This can be carried out in one appointment and little drilling of your natural tooth is required.
A second option is to have veneers placed on your front teeth. To ensure symmetry, your dentist may advise having veneers on your upper front teeth, and the teeth either side, so four veneers in total. A veneer acts as a ceramic tile, similar to a false nail, that is cemented to your tooth. Two appointments are required for veneers- the first appointment is to shape the tooth (if necessary) and to take impressions. These impressions are sent to a laboratory where a dental technician will make your bespoke veneer. Then about two weeks later (this can vary)another appointment with your dentist is required to cement the veneers in place.
A third option, is to crown the teeth. This involves two appointments also, to reduce your teeth in size, impressions are taken and sent to the laboratory like a veneer, then the crowns are cemented in place by your dentist. Crowns are not always the first option as crowning a tooth involves drilling a tooth that may be a healthy tooth.
Veneers and crowns have an approximate life span of 10 years, but this can vary. Crowns and veneers still need brushing and gentle flossing to remove any trapped debris.
To discuss treatment options best suited to you, you can book a consultation appointment with your dentist and they will advise you on the best options and the costs involved.
Answered by the Health at Hand nurses
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